International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP)
EtonHouse International Research Pre-School is an accredited International Baccalaureate (“IB”) World School for the Primary Years Programme. The structure of the IB programmes provide a common understandings of key underlying principles, beliefs and terms, while having the flexibility for each IB World School to offer experiences that acknowledge and meet the needs of their school community. As such, IB schools may look and feel different but all IB schools work towards developing internationally-minded students who have the ability to adapt to different situations by honing their transdisciplinary skills as well as to be able to approach learning with positive attitudes and express their understandings in a myriad of ways.
Authorised IB World Schools have adopted and successfully demonstrated a commitment towards meeting all the standards, practices, and requirements as stipulated by the IBO. By committing to this framework, EtonHouse Mountbatten 718 is supported by the IBO to ensure high quality delivery and implementation of the PYP, through four main areas: authorisation and evaluation; training and professional development; assessment; and curriculum.
The following information is an overview which highlights the five essential elements and the areas of curriculum of the PYP. This information is taken from the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s Making The PYP Happen (2007) curriculum document.
The learner profile
Central to the IB PYP curriculum framework is the learner profile, which is the IB mission statement, translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century.
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be:
The curriculum and Programme of Inquiry (POI) at EtonHouse Mountbatten 718 is built on the PYP framework of essential elements – knowledge, concepts, approaches to learning, and action. We work with the five elements to construct a rigorous and challenging curriculum that meets the needs of an international community.
The PYP aims to create a curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant for learners in the 3–12 age range. It is transdisciplinary in nature as it focuses on issues that go across subject areas, and incorporates, where possible, local and global issues into the curriculum, asking students to look at six overarching transdisciplinary themes and to consider the links between them.
KNOWLEDGE – What do we want the students to know?
There are six transdisciplinary themes that are considered essential, globally significant, common to all human experience and contribute to the common ground that unifies the curriculums of all PYP schools worldwide. They create a transdisciplinary framework that allows students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas. These are:
Who We Are
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Where We Are In Time and Place
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
How We Express Ourselves
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the World Works
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological; and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and ton the environment.
How We Organise Ourselves
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
Sharing the Planet
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
CONCEPTS – “What do we want the students to understand?”
The PYP is a curriculum framework that has been designed around a key set of transdisciplinary concepts. The eight key concepts identified are at the core of the PYP concept-driven curriculum and provide the foundation for exploration across all disciplines.
- Form – What is it like?
- Function – How does it work?
- Causation – Why is it like this?
- Change – How is it changing?
- Connection – How is it connected to other things?
- Perspective – What are the points of view?
- Responsibility – What are our responsibilities?
APPROACHES TO LEARNING – “What do we want students to be able to do?”
There are five sets of transdisciplinary skills which are valuable for all teaching and learning within the classroom and in life outside the school.
- Thinking Skills
- Social Skills
- Communication Skills
- Self-Management Skills
- Research Skills
ACTION – “How do we want students to act?”
Through the units of inquiry we propose engaging learning experiences and offer opportunities which inspire students to actively apply new learning in their daily life. Students are encouraged to reflect, to choose wisely and to act responsibly with their peers, teachers and in the wider school community.
We expect that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process and/or extend the learning process.
Areas of the Curriculum
Language is the major connecting element across the curriculum. Therefore, in a PYP school the focus is not only on language for its own sake, but also on its application across the subject areas and throughout the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry. It also facilitates connections with the wider community.
Language provides a vehicle for inquiry. In an inquiry-based classroom, teachers and students enjoy using language, appreciating it both functionally and aesthetically. The love and enjoyment of language through the integration of literature into inquiry is an indicator of good practice in a PYP classroom.
The PYP has identified three strands – oral language (listening and speaking), visual language (viewing and presenting), written language (reading and writing) – that are learned across and throughout the curriculum, with each strand being an integral component of language learning. Each strand has been considered from both the receptive aspect – receiving and constructing meaning, and expressive aspect – creating and sharing meaning.
Within each of these interconnected strands within Mathematics, there should be a balance between the acquisition of knowledge and skills and the development of conceptual understanding. The mathematics knowledge component is arranged into five strands: data handling, measurement, shape and space, pattern and function as well as number.
In the pattern and function and number strands, students inquire into number systems and their operations, patterns and functions. They become increasingly fluent in using the language of mathematics as they learn to understand its meanings, symbols and conventions.
Data handling, measurement and shape and space are the areas of mathematics that are often used as tools used to research, describe, represent and understand the inquiry. They provide the models, systems and processes for handling data, making and comparing measurements, and solving spatial problems.
Social Studies and Science
It is a requirement of the PYP that Social Studies and Science are incorporated within the context of the units of inquiry. Each grade level has 1-2 of their units that are heavily science- or social studies-based so as to offer opportunites for in-depth inquiry and the development of skills in relevant, meaningful contexts.
|Science strands||Social Studies strands|
|Living Things||Human systems and economic activities|
|Earth and Space||Social organisation and culture|
|Materials and Matter||Continuity and change through time|
|Forces and Energy||Human and natural environments|
|Resources and the environment|
Personal, social and physical education
PSPE provides the models, process and vocabulary for handling social and personal issues, and ensuring health and well-being. Owing to the fact that well-being is intrisically linked to all aspect of a child’s experience at school and beyond, PSPE will be included throughout the curriculum.
The development of overall well-being is defined through three common strands: identity, active living and interactions. Our P.E. Specialist teacher also works in close collaboration with the teaching teams and children to ensure that the physical education experiences are concept-driven and draw upon the conceptual understandings within these strands.
As our pre-school values the expressive and symbolic languages of children, the Arts are incorporated into the curriculum and units of inquiries as essential areas of learning. Children are offered the opportunities and materials to engage in a range of performing arts (dance, drama, music) and visual arts experiences. Our Atelierista (Arts Specialist) works with the children on inquiries that connect with their expression of ideas through the performing arts.
Mandarin is an integral part of language development at EtonHouse International Research Pre-school 718. We follow an immersion Mandarin programme, where children are constantly exposed to Mandarin, alongside English language instruction. We believe this approach is how children learn languages instinctively and, by embedding Mandarin learning in authentic and meaningful situations, the children will develop into more confident and competent Mandarin speakers and listeners.